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For almost two decades, the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies has taught students about leading change in organizations and companies. Now, graduate students preparing to lead change in education have the same opportunity.

In consultation with the Jepson School, the School of Continuing Studies now offers a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies.

“This interdisciplinary program utilizes the resources of multiple schools on campus to serve both teachers and current school administrators. Classes are conveniently scheduled on nights and weekends to accommodate the schedules of the participants,” said Tom Shields, director of the Center for Leadership in Education.

“We are breaking away from just teaching management to discuss what educational leadership really is,” said Shields.

Courses include educational leadership studies, leading and supervising instruction, school law and ethics, leadership and school culture, and others. Each core course requires an outside practicum, and the program includes a reflective leadership course, where students will experience many of the real-life situations that school leaders encounter.

“We want students to experience other styles of leadership and other levels of instruction,” said Shields. For instance, students currently teaching in elementary schools would spend time in middle or high schools, and students from independent schools would experience the public system, he said.

Graduates of the program will be able to get an endorsement from the state Department of Education to be a school principal. For those who already have a master’s degree, the university also offers a graduate certificate in educational leadership and policy studies, he said.

The first group of students began classes in January. A new cohort will start in the fall.

Contact Shields at 804-289-8524 or tshields@richmond.edu for more information or to apply.